The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*BELLRICHARD, LESLIE ALLEN
Rank and organization: Private First
Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry. Place and date: Kontum
Province Republic of Vietnam, 20 May 1967. Entered service at: Oakland, Calif. Born:
4 December 1941, Janesville, Wis.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and
beyond the call of duty. Acting as a fire team leader with Company C, during combat
operations Pfc. Bellrichard was with 4 fellow soldiers in a foxhole on their unit's
perimeter when the position came under a massive enemy attack. Following a 30-minute
mortar barrage, the enemy launched a strong ground assault. Pfc. Bellrichard rose in face
of a group of charging enemy soldiers and threw hand grenades into their midst,
eliminating several of the foe and forcing the remainder to withdraw. Failing in their
initial attack, the enemy repeated the mortar and rocket bombardment of the friendly
perimeter, then once again charged against the defenders in a concerted effort to overrun
the position. Pfc. Bellrichard resumed throwing hand grenades at the onrushing attackers.
As he was about to hurl a grenade, a mortar round exploded just in front of his position,
knocking him into the foxhole and causing him to lose his grip on the already armed
grenade. Recovering instantly, Pfc. Bellrichard recognized the threat to the lives of his
4 comrades and threw himself upon the grenade, shielding his companions from the blast
that followed. Although severely wounded, Pfc. Bellrichard struggled into an upright
position in the foxhole and fired his rifle at the enemy until he succumbed to his wounds.
His selfless heroism contributed greatly to the successful defense of the position, and he
was directly responsible for saving the lives of several of his comrades. His acts are in
keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon
himself and the U.S. Army.